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Created Unto Good Works

(Ephesians 2:1-10)

Lesson 11 -- second quarter 2009
May 10, 2009

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 2009

Introductory questions to chew

Have you been quickened? Do others agree with your answer?

Is there anyone you can love as God loved you (as described in verses 4 and 5)?

Do you suppose God has designed some things especially for you to do?

What is one good work for which Christ created you?

A substitute for worldly lusts

Why did Jesus die for us? According to Titus 2:14, He "gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." He died to redeem us and purify us from all worldly lusts. He died to make us His own, putting into our lives godliness instead of ungodliness, and good works instead of selfish, worldly lusts.

Notice that Titus 3:8 calls us to carefulness in this area: "they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works."

Good works make a terrific replacement for worldly lusts. They also reveal the exquisite craftsmanship of the Lord Jesus (Ephesians 2:10)!

Can faith exist alone?

I don't know how many dead people you have seen, but I can declare with certainty that everyone of those bodies was in that state because its spirit had left it. We know such bodies must be disposed of because of their uselessness -- you know the other reasons also, I'm sure.

God says faith is that way as well: "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?" (James 2:20). How foolish to insist on living by faith alone! While it is true that salvation is by faith alone because of Christ's redeeming grace, it is also true that we are saved unto good works (Ephesians 2:10; Colossians 1:10; 2 Timothy 3:17). When the spirit is taken from a human body, the body dies. When works are taken from faith, faith also dies. No, faith does not live alone. It can't! "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also" (James 2:26).

But faith really is more important than works, right?


You see, without works, faith cannot act. Think of your own body. You really cannot fathom being you without having it. What we sometimes call "the real you" (your spirit) gives life to your body. But without your body, how is the real you to make itself useful? Similarly, works and faith require each other: "Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?" (James 2:22).

We simply cannot say accurately and Biblically that one is more important than the other.

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